Senate Minority Leader Andrew Rice, who tried to unseat U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, three years ago, is resigning because he and his family are moving out of state.
Shortly after Rice, D-Oklahoma City, made his announcement Tuesday, state Rep. Al McAffrey said he would seek Rice's Senate District 46 seat. His House of Representatives district is in Rice's Senate district.
McAffrey, D-Oklahoma City, said he is ready to take his “common-sense approach” to the Senate.
Rice is supporting McAffrey.
A special election to fill Rice's seat will be next year.
Rice, 37, said he is resigning to move to Nashville, Tenn., where his wife, Apple, a doctor, has accepted a position.
Rice, elected to the state Senate in 2006, said he will resign effective Jan. 15. His four-year term expires in 2014.
“I am supporting my wife in her pursuit of a career opportunity outside of the state of Oklahoma,” Rice said. “She has made immense sacrifices for me in her support of my political career and public service, and I am honored to be able to reciprocate that for her now.
“We really don't want to leave,” he said. “This is the most exciting time ever in Oklahoma City with everything going on.”
Rice said he sent letters announcing his irrevocable resignation to the secretary of state's office so work can start on establishing an election date, which will be set by Gov. Mary Fallin.